Dave McIntyre's Port recommendations

Port is a great gift for wine lovers.
Port is a great gift for wine lovers. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010; 4:00 PM

Barros Vintage Porto, 2007

** 1/2
Portugal, $52

Moderately rich, less tannic and brawny (and less expensive) than vintage port typically is, this wine from the exceptional 2007 vintage is accessible now, whereas most from this vintage will need a decade or more of cellaring. I do recommend opening it several hours before drinking. My bottle tasted even better the second night.

Dionysus: Available in Maryland at Balducci's and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; on the list at Tavira in Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Balducci's locations in McLean and Alexandria, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview.

Fonseca Terra Bella Reserve Porto

** 1/2
Portugal, $23
(Great Value)

Made from organically grown grapes and organic grape spirits, this lively ruby should dispel any remaining notion that port is stuffy and old-fashioned. Fonseca is part of the Taylor Fladgate Port group, and all of its wines are terrific.

Kobrand/RNDC: Available in the District at 1 W Dupont Circle Wine & Liquors, Barmy Wines & Liquors; on the list at Dickson Wine Bar.

Noval Black

** 1/2
Portugal, $22
(Great Value)

This edgy ruby port was introduced to the U.S. market last summer. From its sleek, untraditional labeling to its expansive, fruit-forward style, it appears designed to attract the millennial generation of wine drinkers. But no matter your age, the wine is delicious.

Monument/RNDC: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bell Wine & Spirits, Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, 1 W DupontCircle Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, De Vinos, MacArthur Beverages, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Watergate Wine & Beverage; on the list at Darlington House, Kinkead's, Matisse, Rasika.

Dow's Trademark Finest Reserve Porto

Portugal, $20

Smooth and polished, this wine from the famed Symington Family Estates group of port houses suggests chocolate and caramels.

Winebow: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Benmoll Liquor Store, Best in Liquors, Calvert Woodley, 1 W Dupont Circle Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at B. Smith's, Brasserie Beck, Masa 14, Matisse, Occidental Grill.

Warre's Warrior Reserve Port Wine

Portugal, $17-$18; also available in half-bottles (375 ml)

Warre's is another Symington property, and this delicious wine is rich, chocolaty and mouth-filling, with supple texture and the raisiny, earthy quality wine lovers describe as "portlike."

Vineyard Brands/Bacchus: Available in the District at 1 W Dupont Circle Wine & Liquors, Barmy Wines & Liquors, Burka's Wine & Liquor, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Hayden's Liquor, Magruder's, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Pearson's; on the list at the Jockey Club, Matisse. Available in Maryland at Adega Wine Cellars in Silver Spring; Balducci's, Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel; Cranberry Liquors in Westminster; Montgomery County liquor stores in Chevy Chase and Darnestown; Pinky & Pepe's Grape Escape in Gaithersburg; Rodman's in White Flint; State Line Liquors in Elkton; Sugarloaf Wine Cellar in Germantown; Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore; the Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Country Vintner in Virginia: Available at Rick's Wine & Gourmet and Unwined in Alexandria, Whole Foods Market locations in Arlington and Alexandria, the Wine Cabinet in Reston.


*** Exceptional ** Excellent * Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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